Top 10 Places to Visit in Metro Manila

As the Philippines is getting more and more popular as a holiday destination, I look at the top 10 places I believe that cant be missed whilst in the country’s entry point Metro Manila.

10th) Manila Ocean Park

Firstly we start off with a family amusement. This Oceanarium has plenty to see and do, with over 300 marine species indigenous to South East Asia. There are also land creatures with a barnyard, bird and insect section. Most anticipated are the seal show which is applaudable and last but not the least is the symphony of evening show which is a magical light, water and fire show which come together to gives a great end to the day. Honestly it is not the best Oceanarium that would blow your mind, but it is a worthy visit whilst in the capital.

Manila Ocean Park
Manila Ocean Park ( photo from https://www.shoreexcursions.asia/manila-ocean-park/)
9th) Quiapo Church and China Town

Quiapo church and the surrounding area is no doubt very important to the Filipino people, its religious and cultural significance is the reason it is on my top 10 list, however this area is also known to be very dangerous to locals themselves, so any tourists would need to be cautious. Nonetheless this Church is very important with many miracles said to have happened, one of which is the story of the black Nazarene statue which arrived from Mexico in 1606 surviving a huge fire.

The nearby Binondo China town is also significant for being the worlds oldest china town in the world. A place that should be high on this list but because its not accessible and a little dangerous, im happy this being 9th.

asianjournalusa.com/the-political-rallies-in-plaza-miranda-the-mercenary-prayers-at-quiapo-chu-p13552-184.htm
8th) Poblacion, Makati

One for those who enjoy a bit of nightlife, Poblacion has a mixture of affordable and high-end bars and clubs. It is popular for locals and foreign tourists. A place that must be visited to appreciate Filipino night life.

7th) Bonifacio Global City

The first of four shopping site on my list. Bonifacio Global City is an outdoor high street retail arcade which has both affordable and high end shops and restaurants. Boasting a beautiful parklike greenspace in the middle with fountain and artistic features this shopping district is very popular.

Bonifacio High Street (goodfreephotos.com)
6th) Resorts World

The brand ‘Resorts World’ is well known around the world. For Manila, Resorts World is a complete high end entertainment complex including a casino, theatre, cinema, shopping complex, restaurants and accommodations. Resorts world is high on my list as it is popular amongst tourist and it is nearest to the airport.

5th) Greenbelt Ayala Centre

The most extravagant and  luxurious of all the malls in Metro Manila. the Greenbelt shopping mall consist of high end shops such as Prada, Gucci, Armani and others alike. This mall makes the 5th best place to visit in Metro Manila as in my opinion it takes you out of the hustle and bustle of the city, a nice place which may make you feel at home. The nice green space in the middle, vegetable plantation, cat play area and the outdoor church makes a brilliant hotspot for tourism

4th) SM Mall of Asia

…and another mall but its the last one I promise. SM Mall of Asia was arguably once the largest in Asia when it was built in the year 2006, it has since been replaced as 4th largest in the country and down to 14th in the continent.  4th on my list as unlike ‘Resorts World’ this is a complete leisure complex for all ages that is affordable to the average person. Complete with concert halls, Imax, bowling, arcades, funfair, shops, restaurants and an Olympic sized skating ring. Furthermore the man made bay area is a good place to chill and take it easy.

Mall Of Asia
https://www.publicdomainpictures.net/en/view-image.php?image=59538&picture=mall-of-asia
3rd) Intramuros

A fortified walled complex from the Spanish colonial era makes it as my 3rd place that I believe people should visit. Formerly the Spaniards centre for governance, this had huge significance through all colony from Spanish, Japanese and American rule. Intramuros has lots of Spanish architecture within its walls which I believe is  a must for visitors.

File:Intramuros Manila.jpg
Intramuros (photo by Armanbambuco)
2nd) Quezon Circle

My 2nd placer is questionable and I believe a lot of people who is from the Philippines or Metro Manila itself would find my choice quiet surprising and interesting. Quezon Circle is a park situated in between a large 8 lane roundabout, it is a park where many locals visit to chill, date, unwind, stay active and just have a good time. Central to this park it the Quezon Shrine which is a beautiful 3 pillar structure which houses the remains of the popular late president Manuel Quezon. On top of the monument is an observation deck and below is a museum about the late president and also about the country in general. The park has a cute theme park with traditional fair games and rides. I believe Quezon circle doesn’t get the recognition it deserves, maybe the sheer distance from the main Manila region or the lack of advertisements. I have always found this place amazing and when I brought my visiting friends over to see this, I was surprised by their very positive reaction, so this park makes it as my top 2 place to visit whilst around Metro Manila.

Quezon Shrine (Photo from https://www.justrunlah.com/running_route/quezon-memorial-circle/)
1st) Rizal Park

Probably the cover attraction of the capital and what I believe is the must see place whilst in Metro Manila is Rizal Park. Adjacent to the walled city of Intramuros this place is a favourite leisure spot for Filipinos. This park also has history as it was the location of the execution of Filipino patriot Jose Rizal which started the Philippine revolution against Spain. The monument which holds his remains is the focal point of this park and because of this the area remains a significant place for the country and for what I believe is a place visitors should visit whilst in the country. 

File:Rizal Monument at Rizal Park.jpg
Rizal Monument (photo by Maynard Rabanal)

So there’s my personal top 10 places to visit whilst in Metro Manila, do you think?

Thanks for reading!!!

 

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Reference:

https://www.myproperty.ph/journal/2019/02/13/the-top-10-largest-malls-in-the-philippines-infographic/

Quezon City

Type : City Break
Best Date : November – May
Expense :  Medium, Fair
Things to do : Shopping, Sightseeing
Points of Interest: Quezon Shrine, Araneta Colloseum, Quezon Circle, Trinoma, Eastwood, Edsa Shrine ect

Brief

Quezon City is the biggest city in the Metro Manila Region and the most populous in the Philippines. It is a city named after the second president Manuel L Quezon who founded and made it the capital city ahead of Manila. Quezon City is not known for being a big hit with tourism, but it does have its gems.

The PlaceQuezon Shrine.jpg

As the city is named and famed for the late President Manuel L Quezon it is rightly so that the main attraction is his shrine where his body lies. The Quezon memorial shrine is the tallest monumental structure standing at 66 meters and in my opinion the most beautiful in the country. It is plain white in colour with three pillars in a triangular shape. Underneath the structure lies the late president’s body is a special enclosed mausoleum that visitors may not enter for obvious reasons of respect. The Exterior and the shrine itself is a nice place to visit, but it wouldn’t be complete without knowing about the history of the place. Around the Mausoleum underground there is a museum with interesting facts about the PresideManuel%20Quezon%20Tomb-L.jpgnt, the shrine itself, the city and even about Philippines as a nation. There is a small entrance fee but isn’t much. Surrounding the Shrine is a huge park “The Quezon Circle Park” it is complete with a small traditional theme park, playground for kids, a cycle path, fountains, ornaments and even market stalls. The park is free apart from the car park and amusements and museums.

Nightlife in Quezon City is found in the “Timog” district and “Quezon Avenue” just 10 minutes away from the Quezon circle area. Quezon Avenue known for being huge in Adult entertainment and comedy bars, whilst Timog is where the bars and clubs are. Popular massage parlour “Wensha’s” is also in Timog, for 1k pesos (£15) you could get not only a 1 hour massage, but an unlimited buffet, free use of the hot spring spa, steam room and many more, just relax there is no rush to get out of this place.

The other thing that Quezon City is famed for is off-course “Cubao” where the Araneta Colosseum is. This indoor theatre is known to Filipinos for its hosting of Basketball league games, Volleyball, concerts and sporting finals but is world renowned for being the host for??? Yes only the best boxing match ever known, the “Thrilla in Manila” the match proving engraved in the history books with Muhammed Ali and Joe Fraser. Although aged through time, Araneta Colosseum will always be monumental, and visitors may be able to enter with one of many shows it hosts to this date.

Overall Quezon City is a worthwhile place to visit, knowing where to go and what to do beforehand would be the best advice for travelling to Quezon City.

Travel

Transport in Quezon City is like any in Metro Manila, It is however harder to obtain a taxi as there is not as many taxi bays around the areas of interest.

Metro Manila.

Type : City Break
Best Date : November – January
Expense :  Medium
Things to do : Shopping, Bars, Sightseeing
Points of Interest: Dependent of Region

BRIEF

I start off with introducing Metro Manila, the capital of the Philippines, the region I could say is home away from home. Don’t get confused by “Metro Manila” and “Manila“, Metro Manila is a region consisting of 17 cities one of them being Manila itself.

Metro Manila is a large region which consists of 17 cities, the capital being Manila, largest and most populated  Quezon City then others being Mandaluyong, Marikina, Pasig, San Juan, Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela, Las Pinas, Makati, Muntinlupa, Paranaque, Pasay, Pateros and finally Taguig.

As you read my blog, you’ll notice ill be writing a lot about Quezon City where I lived, grew up and where my family home is. However just recently I have managed to buy myself a one bedroom high rise apartment (locally known as a condo unit) in Mandaluyong for my yearly holidays. However Quezon City will always be home, other region in Metro Manila I’d mention are Makati, Taguig which are the richer areas and lastly Manila itself being the capital and the most tourist attracted. All areas are similar but different in their own stature, differences are visible through buildings, roads and local laws, the people can also be different in behaviour. Whatever the differences all regions are all connected, the EDSA highway, bus and rail transports connect Metro Manila as one big city.

The Place

Id like to say I’m no longer a tourist in Metro Manila, although locals would say otherwise. In Philippines, it doesn’t matter if you are Filipino, if you do not know the street-smarts, then you are as good as a newbie to the country. Philippines like other 3rd world countries would be very difficult for any Foreigner to travel in, that’s why knowing someone when you travel to Philippines is important for safety.

When any tourist travels to the Philippines you would more or less likely arrive in Manila although Cebu is getting more and more popular with major airlines to arrive in. The Airport formally known as the “Ninoy Aquino International Airport” (NAIA) is just minutes away from where tourists would want to go. Hotels, Casinos, Ocean Park, Star City, Mall of Asia, Rizal Park, Cultural  Museums and Churches can be found within 30 minutes from the airport (not considering the famous Filipino traffic).

Taguig and Makati are the more richer areas, where tourists will feel more confident and safe to roam around. Bonifacio Global City and SM Aura in Taguig is a shopping district that foreigners will feel at home. It has the more modern structure and architecture in the Philippines and is safer due to security being on another level as armed guards are more present here than anywhere else.

Upper class clubbing is also here in Taguig, Valkyrie club, Revel, The Pool Club Palace, Prive, Haze and Raven are some of the well known clubs there. If clubbing here is what you want, prepare yourself to spend in the region of Php 10,000 to Php30,000, £160 to £320.

Makati on the other hand has more of the high rise business districts, here you can find offices of international businesses and local corporations. Makati is the financial centre of the Philippines. You can find the upper class shops in Greenbelt malls, shops such as Prada, Armani, Chanel, Montblanc and many alike reside in this class mall, Glorietta Mall which is a little bit cheaper is right beside, so there is something for the filthy rich and also for the middle class.

All around Metro Manila there is different things to see from region to region. Manila, Taguig and Makati are where I believe tourists stay and roam. However I have always told everyone I recommended going to Philippines to stay in Metro Manila only for 3-7 days, there is more to see in Philippines if you go out of town and onto the different islands and beaches.

Metro Manila (Transport) continues in another page (Click here)